【Match Report】U-16 Japan Women's National Team lose to France in third group stage match of the Montaigu Tournament
10 April 2023
On Friday 7 April, the U-16 Japan Women's National Team played their third group stage match against the U-16 France Women's National Team.
Japan created an early opportunity in the third minute, when KINOSHITA Hinako (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Girls) responded to a through ball delivered by MAKIGUCHI Yuka (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Girls U-15) on the left side, but the play was called offside.
Despite taking the initiative of the match, Japan conceded the opening goal in the 20th minute and were unable to capitalise on their opportunities, ending the first half with a score of 0-1.
Japan continued to press forward in the second half but ended up conceding two more goals in the 57th and 77th minutes to lose the match 0-3. As a result, Japan will face Portugal in the third place playoff.
DF #2 AKIRA Shiori (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara Avvenire)
First of all, I would like to thank everybody for giving us the opportunity to participate in this tournament and for giving me the chance to improve myself. I am greatly inspired by the world's top players. Although we lost 0-3, we were able to showcase steady build-ups, quality passes, and great plays against France. But I personally rushed my plays, made a lot of poor choices, and couldn't give my regular performance. That is why I need to have a wider perspective when I am off the ball. I also need to position myself quicker and make more runs in order to make use of my strengths.
MF #11 HARA Hibari (JFA Academy Fukushima)
In this match against France, we faced bigger and faster players, which is something we cannot experience in Japan. Throughout the game, every player continued to push themselves, which helped us raise the team's overall standard. After being converted to a forward midway through the first half, I made several attempts to take advantage of the space behind our opponents' defence line. However, this match served as a reminder that I really need to raise the quality of my plays in the attacking third. In our next match against Portugal, I want to do my best to lead the team to victory by making the most of my strengths and not being afraid to make mistakes, no matter what the situation. I am grateful for the opportunity to compete against the world as a member of the U-16 Japan Women's National Team and will strive to grow further as a player.
MF #14 KINOSHITA Hinako (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Girls)
Despite taking control of the ball possession, we ended up conceding the opening goal from our own mistakes. We were able to possess the ball and play with tremendous intensity to win the ball, but we were unable to take advantage of our opportunities and were ultimately defeated by the strength and speed of our opponents. This game served as a reminder that we need to be more critical in front of the goal in order to compete at the highest level because I personally missed out on a significant opportunity as well. We must not forget this disappointing result and make the most of this experience to become a better team.
Tournament Dates: Mon. 3 - Sun. 9 April 2023
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